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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mum's no terrorist, Maria's son says in 'inhumane' detention report

Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah's eldest son Azumin Yunus today lodged a police report against the conditions of her detention under the Special Offences (Security Measures) Act 2012.
Speaking to reporters outside the Petaling Jaya district police station, Azumin stressed that his mother was not a terrorist and does not deserve solitary confinement, which he described as "inhumane".
Following Maria's arrest last Friday, Azumin said his brothers were only briefly allowed to meet her, yesterday, at the Dang Wangi district police station.
"Now, her own family members have no idea where she is, or when we will be able to see her next.
"We really don't know and that is what scares us the most. That our mother will just be taken away from us," Azumin said.
"Because of that we are just heartbroken right now.
"Why is it that our mother is regarded as a terrorist. Why is she being treated this way?" he questioned.
"She hasn't even done anything wrong and she's treated like this," said Azumin who has two younger brothers.
During their meeting, Azumin, said Maria informed them of the conditions under which she is being detained - a small windowless cell with not even the most basic necessities.
"The light is on the whole time and her sleep is messed up because of this.
"She was given two sets of clothing that she has to live with and the floor she sleeps on is just a wooden board," he said.
Maria's sister, Cynthia Chin (photo), urged all parties to keep a fair mind in judging the case.
"My sister should not be treated even worse than a murderer," Chin stressed.
Asked whether Maria had any health conditions, she said her sister has hypertension but the symptoms would not be easily seen, and as such she still looked healthy.
Lawyer Eric Paulsen, who is part of the legal team representing Maria, also stressed that Maria has been subjected to a severe punishment even before any trial has started.
"Such a treatment is solitary confinement. If you look at the laws in Malaysia that govern detention, it is not provided anywhere.

"So, if Malaysia prides itself as a civilised nation, you cannot treat any detainee - we are not just talking about Maria Chin - you cannot put any detainee in solitary confinement," Paulsen said.
He added that the effects of solitary confinement have also been documented in a United Nations Human Rights report, which concluded that prolonged detention is inhumane and could amount to torture.
Outside the police station, some 15 Bersih supporters gathered in solidarity with Maria and raised placards to demand her immediate release, chanting "Bebas Maria!" as motorists passing by honked in support.- Mkini

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